A Different Kind of Toxicity; Well, What's the Point of Paratransit? | Letters | Salt Lake City Weekly
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A Different Kind of Toxicity; Well, What's the Point of Paratransit?



A Different Kind of Toxicity
I am a mechanical engineer here at Hill and started working here when I got out of school 4.5 years ago. I am in the same organization as the subject of your article "Broken Wings" [July 10, City Weekly].

I feel that I have a perspective that is uniquely unbiased. I am not a maintainer on the floor, but I work with them. I am not a supervisor, but I work with them. Your article really struck a chord with many folks. Every person I have heard discussing it (shop mechanics and supervisors) have all said the same thing: The article missed the mark in many ways. There is a whole other side of the story that is not told. You have only spoken to a small handful of very disgruntled employees.

When I started here as a young engineer out of college, I quickly realized there is a toxic culture here on base. But not the one you described.

Every building is filled with self-entitled employees who have spent a career figuring out how to work less and less and complain more and more. Managers have no authority and no mechanisms to enforce accountability. It takes years to fire someone because there are so many rules and hoops to jump through. A first-line supervisor has the worst job on base; they spend all day dealing with guys complaining about everything under the sun. Folks intentionally don't work hard all week, take 10 smoke breaks a day, and then demand overtime on the weekends. If overtime is turned down, or if a supervisor ever tries to stop these and other abusive practices, then they are lambasted, like the subject of your article did to his supervisors.

Some guys are mad that they have had the same job for 20 years and others are moving up the chain, instead of realizing, "Hey, I don't have a degree and have done nothing within the Air Force to advance my career." They blame all their problems on others. And management is the easy target.

You owe it to honest folks here at the base to learn and tell the rest of the story. I have worked in the private sector, and if an employee acted even close to how the subject of "Broken Wings" acted in his career, he would have been justly fired years ago.

The cure to unhappiness and depression here on base is for folks to start being accountable for their own work, actually working hard, and stop blaming others.

Steve Lindsay

Well, What's the Point of Paratransit?
I hope you'll never need paratransit. If you can't stand, walk, scoot without being harmed, or be out in the heat, you are in trouble here in SLC.

That's because UTA uses a curb-to-curb system to deny you access. They bought large buses. Now they'll tell you that they can't take these buses all sorts of important places. The streets are too small, or they don't make bus drivers do three-point turns in lots, or a parking lot with five buses in it has an egress issue.

So you are screwed unless you can take a wheelchair cab everywhere you need to go. You won't be counted, because as they say, it isn't a denial of service just because you can't get to the designated stop.

Isn't that the point of paratransit?

Lisa Morris
Salt Lake City